5 Tips to Organizing and Decorating Your Bookshelf

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5 Tips to Organizing and Decorating Your Bookshelf

Daphne Mallory · Oct 19, 2010

Decorating and organizing a bookshelf may seem like a lengthy process. A bookshelf often attracts clutter, which will frustrate you if you live in a small apartment or simply like being organized. If you’re looking for some ideas, here are 5 tips on how to organize and decorate your bookshelf.

1. Clean the Shelves

Before you organize your bookshelf, clean it. Take everything off, and dust the shelves with a micro-fiber towel, sock or other duster. Dusting is often enough, but you may need to do a wet clean to remove stains. Use your favorite wood cleaner or polish and a rag. Wipe off any dust on your books or other decorative items and collectibles you store on the bookshelves. Polish other items that can’t be cleaned with soap or another cleaner. Replace old or ruined artificial flowers or fresh flowers that have wilted and died.

2. Sort Your Items

After you clean, it’s time to sort what you currently have on the shelves. Separate the books and other items you really need from what you don’t need, or could store somewhere else. For example, if you think of a book series that you really like in advance, keep that out, but put away older reference materials or decorative items that are out of season.

3. Most Used Items

One reason why you find yourself with an unorganized bookshelf to begin with, is due to way you order items on your shelves. The best way to approach this is to put the most used items in the most accessible spot on the shelves. These can include books, keys and space for your laptop. Each situation is different. For example, if you have a freestanding bookshelf, then the top shelves are probably best. On the other hand, if you have high shelves encased in the walls behind your couch, then the lower shelves are a better choice.

4. Paint Your Bookcase

If you want to decorate and organize your bookshelf at the same time, paint or re-paint it. Paint the inside of your bookcase with a color that contrasts the outer walls. This is a simple technique to draw eyes toward the shelves, and the items you have to display on them.

5. Match Decorative Items to Apartment Décor

There are many options for items to display on your bookshelf, such as ornaments and vases. Some people like to choose bold colors to contrast the color scheme in the room. However, some decorative styles call for using neutral colors, or blending in decorative items as much as possible. Choose colors for accessories, artwork and other items that match the wallpaper or paint.

Organizing a bookshelf can be a simple task and will prove satisfactory in the end if you approach it correctly. Whether you want to decorate your bookcase, just organize it or both, using these tips will make your bookcase look much better and much more organized.

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